Appropriate surgical planning is important for improved clinical outcome and minimal complications in many surgical operations, such as a conjoined twin separation surgery. We combine 3D printing with casting and assembling to produce a solid phantom of high fidelity to help surgeons for better preparation of the conjoined twin separation surgery. 3D computer models of individual organs were reconstructed based on CT scanned data of the conjoined twins. The models were sliced, processed, and converted to an appropriate format for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The skeletons of the phantom were printed directly by FDM using Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) material, while internal soft organs were fabricated by casting silicon materials of different compositions in FDM printed molds. The skeleton and the internal organs were then assembled with appropriate fixtures to maintain their relative positional accuracies. The assembly was placed in a FMD printed shell mold of the patient body for further casting. For clear differentiation of different internal organs, CT contrast agents of different compositions were added in the silicon cast materials. The produced phantom was scanned by CT again and compared with that of the original computer models of the conjoined twins in order to verify the structural and positional fidelity. Our preliminary experiments showed that combining 3D printing with casting is an effective way to produce solid phantoms of high fidelity for the improved surgical planning in many clinical applications.
Shuwei Shen, Zuhua Zhao, Haili Wang, Yilin Han, Erbao Dong, Bin Liu, Wendong Liu, Barrett Cromeens, Brent Adler, Gail Besner, William Ray, Brad Hoehne, and Ronald Xu, "Freeform fabrication of tissue-simulating phantoms by combining three-dimensional printing and casting," Proc. SPIE 9700, Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies IX, 970009 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 18 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212305.
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